Yes, Virginia, there are no rules: but you have a voice.

 

How you construct your story is important. Even more important is how your tell the story—the words you use, your ability to create a visual impression—your narrative voice. A good story has a personality—a voice—that carries the reader/audience into the story.

Read a few scripts.  You will see that many scripts break the “rules” but have a very strong voice.  I went to Daily Script http://www.dailyscript.com/movie.html and randomly read through about 12 scripts.  Each story written in a different voice but gets you into the story right away.

When you tell your story do it with your voice, the voice that makes your story come alive.

Here are some examples:

EXT. WEST SIDE HIGHWAY — NIGHT

A black dog sleeps on the shoulder of the highway, head

between his paws, curled up next to the barricade that

separates the north and southbound lanes.

Traffic rumbles past him: yellow cabs, blue police cruisers,

white limousines with tinted glass and Jersey plates.

We hear the squeal of brakes. A black *65 Ford Mustang, mint

condition, pulls onto the shoulder, ten yards past the dog,

and backs up. The dog raises its head.

Two men step out of the car. The driver, MONTY BROGAN, midtwenties,

is pale-skinned in the flickering light. A small

silver crucifix hangs from a silver chain around his neck;

his fingers are adorned with silver rings.

The passenger, KOSTYA NOVOTNY, a hulking man in his late

thirties, blows his nose in his handkerchief.

It’s a cold night. Monty wears a camel’s hair overcoat,

Kostya an old blue Soviet Navy coat.

MONTY

He’s alive.

KOSTYA

(Ukrainian accent)

This dog, how do you call it?

THE 25 th HOUR, David Benioff

 

 

INT.  PRISON DORMITORY/FUTURE – ETERNAL NIGHT

 

PRISON P.A. SYSTEM

–number 5429, Garcia — number 87645, Cole…

 

COLE, late thirties, dark hair, comes awake in a bunk cage, one

of many stacked four high along both sides of a long dim

corridor.  He blinks in the near dark, shaken, disoriented.

 

Then, as he “recovers” from his very vivid dream, WE GET OUR

FIRST LOOK AT HIS ENVIRONMENT…A WINDOWLESS UNDERGROUND WORLD OF

ETERNAL NIGHT SOMETIME IN THE FUTURE…AN ALMOST COLORLESS

“REALITY” OF BLURRED EDGES AND ECHOEY SOUNDS, MUCH MORE

“DREAMLIKE” THAN HIS DREAM.

 

Flashlights glare. In the half-light, COLE sees spooky figures,

GUARDS, moving among the locked bunk/cages.


12 Monkeys, Daved Peoples & Janet Peoples

 

INT. DINGY HOTEL ROOM – DAY

The sounds of the city flow in through an open window: car horns, gun shots and violence. Paint is peeling off the walls and the once green carpet is stained black.

On the bed nearby is a huge open suitcase filled with clear plastic bags of cocaine. Shotguns and pistols have been dropped carelessly around the suitcase. On the far end of the room, against the wall, is a TV. “Bewitched” is playing.

At the opposite end of the room, by the front, is a table. DREXL SPIVEY and FLOYD DIXON sit around. Cocaine is on the table as well as little plastic bags and a weigher. Floyd is black, Drexl is a white boy, though you wouldn’t know it listen to him.

True Romance, Quentin Tarantino

 

 

DUDE'S HOUSE

The Dude is going up the walkway of a small Venice bungalow 
court.  He holds the paper sack in one hand and a small 
leatherette satchel in the other.  He awkwardly hugs the 
grocery bag against his chest as he turns a key in his door.

INSIDE

The Dude enters and flicks on a light.

His head is grabbed from behind and tucked into an armpit.  
We track with him as he is rushed through the living room, 
his arm holding the satchel flailing away from his body.  
Going into the bedroom the outflung satchel catches a piece 
of doorframe and wallboard and rips through it, leaving a 
hole.

The Dude is propelled across the bedroom and on into a small 
bathroom, the satchel once again taking away a piece of 
doorframe.  His head is plunged into the toilet.  The paper 
bag hugged to his chest explodes milk as it hits the toilet 
rim and the satchel pulverizes tile as it crashes to the 
floor.

The Dude blows bubbles.

                               VOICE
               We want that money, Lebowski.  Bunny 
               said you were good for it.

Hands haul the Dude out of the toilet. The Dude blubbers and 
gasps for air.

                               VOICE
               Where's the money, Lebowski!

The Big Lebowski, Ethan & Joel Coen

Read scripts just for the voice.  It’s a great exercise.

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